Arkansas vs. Baylor Odds: Spread, Total for NCAA Tournament Elite Eight (March 29)
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Davion Mitchell.
- Baylor is a 7-point favorite over Arkansas in the 2021 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
- The Bears dispatched of Villanova handily in the second half on Saturday, while Arkansas survived a buzzer beater against Oral Roberts.
Arkansas vs. Baylor Odds
|Moneyline||+245 / -305|
|Time||Monday, 8:57 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings|
How Baylor & Arkansas Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
What To Know About Baylor
For most of the season, most considered Baylor and Gonzaga as the two best teams in the country with almost no difference between them from a power ratings perspective. That has since changed as Baylor has dropped a few games, while Gonzaga has remained undefeated.
What happened to the Bears? Unfortunately, they had to deal with extreme covid issues inside the program, which led to a long pause in activities. Since they’ve returned, the Bears just haven’t been the same team, especially on the defensive end. Baylor has just looked much slower on that end and has been much more vulnerable off the dribble and in transition.
Can the Bears regain their pre-covid form? That’s the primary question heading into the tournament after suffering a loss in the Big 12 semis to Oklahoma State. If it can, you can put it back in Gonzaga’s neighborhood. If not, Bryce Drew’s squad can still certainly make a run, especially if they keep shooting a nation-leading 41.8% from distance for an offense that is also elite on the offensive glass and can score in many different ways. If not, they will be in some exciting, high-variance shootouts and will have to fight to get through the second weekend.
The Bears rallied in the second half to get past Wisconsin and Villanova, and another high-scoring matchup is in store against Arkansas. — Stuckey
What To Know About Arkansas
The knock on Arkansas through late January was the lack of Quadrant 1 victories. Since then, the Razorbacks have won 11 straight conference games led by the most ebullient head coach in Division I, Eric Musselman.
The coaching job has been an absolute masterpiece after losing two stars to the NBA in Mason Jones and Isaiah Joe. Musselman gets the most out of a roster that entered the season 339th in minutes continuity. The Hogs have been one of the best in SEC in ball security and continually increased productivity in the paint with the return of Justin Smith from injury in mid-January. The season-long statistics do not do the Razorbacks justice for how efficient they have been over their nine-game winning streak leading up to the SEC semis since they got fully healthy.
Freshman Moses Moody was named the all-SEC Team, with Justin Smith being named to the second team all-SEC. How scorching is Razorback basketball? Per Torvik, only Illinois has more wins above bubble in the nation since Feb. 1. There really are no glaring holes for the speedy Hogs who deserve to be in the conversation as a potential final four team.
The win over Oral Roberts came late, but Arkansas will take it. The Razorbacks will have to be much better on Monday night against Baylor if they want to punch a ticket to the Final Four. — Collin Wilson